Note: The following guidance supersedes face coverings guidance released on November 16, 2020. This updated guidance mandates face masks in indoor settings, with few exceptions.
The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection will continue to remain until we reach community immunity from vaccinations. Since the start of the pandemic, we have learned a lot about COVID-19 transmission: a large proportion of people who are infected do not have symptoms (asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic) but play an important part in community spread, and the virus is transmitted through the air and concentrates indoors. The use of face coverings by everyone can limit the release of infected droplets when talking, coughing, sneezing, singing, exercising, shouting, or other forms of increased respiration, and reinforce physical distancing by signaling the need to remain apart. A well-fitting face covering can also provide the wearer some protection from COVID-19.
The purpose of this guidance is to provide information about when face coverings are required for members of the general public. It does not substitute for existing guidance about physical distancing and hand hygiene. In the workplace, employers subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), must ensure that all workers are provided and properly wear face coverings as required by the ETS.
For more information on face mask types, fit, and filtration, refer to the CDPH Face Mask Tips and Resources.
*Note: Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.